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..."I repeat, turn your Stormravens away now or face the consequences." The cold Dark Angel voice threatened.
Grand Master Galatine snarled in frustration. "Brother, you do not understand. Our Strike Cruiser has sustained major damage and is in dire need of repair. We are en route to a Chaos incursion in..."
"Your situation does not concern me, Grey Knight. You are intruding on extremely delicate..." the voice hesitated, "...Chapter matters. Cease your approach now. This is your final warning." The vox link abruptly shut down with a deadened warble, ending the conversation ominously.
Galatine backed away from the communications console slowly. He did not understand. He had uploaded the proper IDENT codes and hailed the tower properly. These Dark Angels refused to aid fellow Space Marines and servants of the Emperor, a situation that confused Galatine greatly. What did the Dark Angels have to hide? Without aid from this outpost, his strike force could not complete its mission in the Garus cluster and any further delay would be intolerable.
Flashing red lights and a tinny warning wail alerted him to the pilot's console. The pilot, Brother Decius, looked back to the Grand Master and stated: "We've been targeted and missiles are incoming. Impact imminent. Attempting evasive maneuvers." There was no fear in his voice at the impending doom, just dispassionate assessment.
"So be it," Galatine muttered. These Dark Angels could have their secrets, but he would get the necessary supplies to repair his strike cruiser. Even if he had to take them by force.
This battle was another attempt to give the Grey Knight Stormravens another shot at impressing me. I've tried them in the past with mixed results. I also have some other shenanigans up my sleeve that will hopefully help my Grey Knights overcome the Dark Angels. Point value was set at 2500, we rolled for setup and deployment and got Seize Ground with Spearhead. I placed my objective on the top of a 3rd story building in the southeast quadrant of the board while he placed his on top of a one story building in the northwest quadrant. Here's the breakdown of forces:
Grand Master (w/ NFS, SB, Blind, Rad, Psychotroke Grenades) with (5) Grey Knight Terminators (x2 NFHam, x2 NFHal, x1 NFS) : Squad Galatine
Brotherhood Champion, Techmarine (w/ Power sword, SB, Blind, Rad, Psychotroke Grenades), and (5) Grey Knight Terminators (x2 NFHam, x2 NFHal, x1 NFS): Squad Brennen
2x Dreadnoughts (vanilla): Brothers Cullen and Themis
1x Purifiers (2x NFHam, 8x NFHal) mounted in Rhino: Squad Pyr in The Shield of Artemis
1x Interceptors (2x NFHam, 8x NFS): Squad Thunor
2 x Strike Squad (5 GKs) with Psycannon in Razorback (TLLC): Squads Vertus and Kartos in Imperial Truth and Unrelenting Strength
2x Stormravens (AC, MM, and Hurricane Bolters): Emperor's Judgment and Spear of Vengeance
6x Deathwing Terminator Squads (Each with 1x missile launcher, various power weapons)
2x Ravenwing Bike Squads (1 attack bike and 4 bikes each w/ melta guns and transportation homers)
1x Ravenwing Land Speeder (Missile launcher, multi melta)
1x Devastator Squad (Lascannon and Missile Launchers)
Well, this was my first opportunity to face the Ravenwing and Deathwing forces of the Dark Angels Chapter so I was in for a surprise. As I quickly found out, speed was on his side and the Dark Angels player wanted to swamp me with Terminators on my objective to prevent a threat to his own.
My initial thoughts were to meet him mid-way, assault out of my stormravens, clean him up down and dirty, and push onto his objective while leaving my strike squads/razorbacks in the rear to claim my objective. I also wanted to use Squad Thunor for a little tomfoolery if I could manage it. Let's see how it turned out.
Look at the attached map to see initial deployment. All his terminators are in reserve while my own Squad Thunor stays in reserve for a strategic deep strike. My Grand Strategy special rule gives Squads Thunor and Pyr the ability to hold objectives as if they were troops.
I failed to seize the initiative. He goes first.
Due to my failure to include servo skulls in my force, his two bike squads conducted their scout move and then their regular move during his turn to the south and east of his position, literally almost starting the game on top of my forces. Awesome movement, I'll have to remember that. Captain Belial allows DA players to bring Deathwing Terminators as troops and also allows for a 1st turn deep strike deployment. He brought in two termie squads (the ones with Belial and the Librarian attached) with no scatter thanks to the teleport homers and then proceeded to fire his termie's shoulder mounted missiles at my Stormravens. Nothing happens to Spear of Vengeance but Emperor's Judgment receives a direct hit and explodes, wounding two members of Squad Galatine. I then proceed to roll double 1's for Squad Galatine's armor saves and my two NFHam termies bite the dust. Squad Galatine passes its leadership test only to fail its pinning test and so drop to the dirt in the crater left by their destroyed stormraven. Not an auspicious beginning for the Grey Knights. His bikes take out one member of Squad Kartos in the building. He tries to use the Devastator lascannon on Spear of Vengeance but is barely out of range and the Land Speeder missies his shots. End of his turn.
I move all of my mounted units forwards. Captain Belial and his termie squad are just outside range of an aerial insertion and assault, so I deploy outside his charge range, storming out of Spear of Vengeance with Squad Brennen and Brother Themis. I move up my Razorbacks to get shots at the DA termie squads and position The Shield of Artemis behind my objective building for a deployment next turn. Squad Galatine stands up after their ignoble face-plant in the mud and Brother Cullen moves north to support Squad Brennen. My combined fire from Squad Brennen, Brother Themis and The Spear of Vengeance takes out two terminators from Belial's squad, the standard bearer and the sergeant I believe. Squad Kartos and Brother Cullen both take out a Ravenwing bike. End of turn 1.
Rolling for deep strike saw three more Deathwing termie squads enter into play right on top of me. At this point it looks like he's attempting to form a speartip to drive into the building and contest my objective. He moves the Librarian squad southeast to take some shots at Squad Galatine, Belial and his squad stay put, the bikes move forward to take some shots at the Imperial Truth and Brother Themis, and the Devestators try their hand at shooting down The Spear of Vengeance. Squad Galatine, Imperial Truth, and Brother Themis suffer no casualties although the Truth is stunned. Unfortunately, The Spear of Vengeance explodes after a round of krak missiles from no less than three terminator squads and the Devestator squads lascannon. No wounds from the explosion. I think Squad Kartos takes another casualty from the bikes or termies. Surprisingly no assaults in his turn, but that's about to change.
Time for some blood. I'm pissed that, again, my stormravens failed to survive past the second turn and I didn't even get to do a swooping assault out of them. At least I disembarked before the Spear was shot down. I put it on the line this turn and decided it was time to get stuck in. The Shield powered forward and interposed itself on the difficult terrain (hill) to the west of my objective building, popped smoke, and disgorged Squad Pyr along its right side, effectively hiding them from view of two Deathwing squads. TheTruth moves to the northwest corner of my building and lets Squad Vertus out. Squad Galatine moves west along the building trying to get closer to the Librarian and his squad. Squad Brennen moves to engage Belial's squad along with Brother Themis. Brother Cullen rounds the corner. Squad Thunor arrives after I use Psychic Communion and I go for broke and place them behind his objective building. They scatter two inches, but remain on the board, phew. Squad Brennen and Brother Themis fire into Belials squad with little effect, I may have caused some wounds, but he made the saves. Galatine's bolter fire is likewise ineffectual against the Librarian squad. However, I think the combined fire of Squads Kartos, Vertus, Brother Cullen, the Truth and Strength fell three or four bikes from the Ravenwing bike squads. Squad Thunor unleash a hail of bolter fire on the devastators and kill one or two. Squad Brennen and Brother Themis then charges Belial's squad and totally murders them in a flurry of attacks (Psychotroke Grenades, Rad Grenades, re-rolls from Brotherhood Champion all combine to make a mess) and consolidate one inch towards the next squad. All in all a good round for me.
The Dark Angels player didn't inflict much damage this turn, mostly due to poor rolling I believe and good saving throws on my part. He was also less aggressive than I thought he would be. His bike squads try to take out Brother Cullen and the Truth with no effect. One termie squad heads north to engage Squad Brennen, the Librarian squad backs up and fires at the Shield and immobilizes it, his two termie squads take steps towards my objective building but fail to inflict damage on Squad Kartos. However, Squad Thunor takes a beating since they're the prime target for some frag missiles as well as the Land Speeder hovering nearby. Five Grey Knight interceptors bite the dust, half of the squad. They pass their leadership test, though. One termie squad charges Squad Brennen and manage to kill one termie of mine I believe while only losing two of their own. We remain locked in combat.
Things are still up in the air at this point, but I was surprised nothing happened to Squad Pyr. They move to within an inch of the lead enemy termie squad and pump more rounds into them, possibly killing one. Kartos, Vertus, Cullen and one Razorback again have a field day on the bikes, eliminating one squad and leaving only one attack bike remaining. The Strength tries to support Squad Thunor and takes a shot at the Land Speeder, but with no effect. Galatine again advances after the retreating Librarian squad, hoping to come to grips but again fails to inflict any casualties. Squad Brennen cleans up the termie squad nicely and then makes the decision with Brother Themis in support to try and run the rest of the way to the enemy objective to contest it if Squad Thunor doesn't make it. Squad Pyr charges into and eliminates the lead termie squad with several casualties itself and consolidates to block the way of the second Deathwing squad behind the first. Brother Cullen charges the last bike and destroys it, consolidating towards Squad Pyr. Squad Thunor jumps to the outskirts of the enemy objective building and successfully charges the devastator squad, killing them all and claiming the enemy objective.
I think the DA player is reeling on this turn, but makes a good push to try and conduct damage control. His final terminator squad finally comes into play and scatters (almost) off the board northeast of his objective building. The second termie squad fires and charges Squad Pyr, killing several Purifiers. I think the Librarian is moving to support, but doesnt make it. The new termie squad fires at Squad Thunor, killing two. The Land Speeder succeeds in killing a terminator from Squad Brennen.
I'm feeling pretty confident at this point, but whether this will be a victory or not depends on claiming or contesting that enemy objective. I'm worried about Squad Thunor and dont know if Squad Brennen will make it in time. Brother Cullen moves to intercept the Librarian and his squad, Squad Brennen moves and runs towards the objective with Brother Themis lagging behind. Kartos, Vertus, and Truth pump rounds into the Librarian squad, but fail to inflict any damage. I can't remember if Brother Themis or the Strength succeeded in killing the Land Speeder, but it goes down in a burning wreck. Squad Thunor weathers another round of firing from the new termie squad but does not sustain any casualties. Squad Pyr barely succeeds in destroying the remaining termie squad, emerging from battle with only three Purifiers left. Galatine again moves after the Librarian and is again denied. Brother Cullen, however, succeeds in his charge against the Librarian, kills one of his squad, and pins them in place for a follow-on charge next turn for Galatine.
The DA player has one last chance to salvage a tie and moves his last terminator squad as close as he can to his objective building, hoping to charge Squad Thunor. His bolts fail to inflict any further casualties on Squad Thunor and, after a little debate on his charge through difficult terrain, ultimately fails to reach them. It was close and I offered to let the dice gods decide 50/50 if he made it or not, but he conceded. The Librarian and his squad tears off Brother Cullen's close combat arm, rendering him pretty useless, but Brother Cullen did his job as he finally pinned the Librarian in place for Squad Galatine.
Squad Brennen moves towards the last Deathwing termie squad in the hopes of a charge and opts not to fire on them for fear of the DA player removing the closest terminator as a casualty. Squad Galatine and the remnants of Squad Pyr pile into the Librarian squad on both sides and cut them down easily. Brennen makes his charge and inflicts some casualties while taking one in return but, more importantly, keeps that last terminator squad away from the objective.
We roll to see if the game continues and it does.
The Deathwing termies surprisingly stick it out for the entire turn due to some expert wound allocation but fails to inflict damage on Squad Brennen.
We roll to see if the game continues and it ends.
Wow, pretty intense game. Initially I had some misgivings and marveled at the speed and teleportation tactics the combination of the Deathwing and Ravenwing brought to the fight. Plus, the fact that I was battling over 25 terminators was pretty intimidating. Had I been any other player other than Grey Knights, I think I would have been swamped and fighting around my objective all game long. The loss of the stormravens so early again made me question their capability. Squad Galatine was rendered pretty useless throughout the battle because of the loss of his transport so early. And the second stormraven only managed to push Squad Brennen out at most 6" before succumbing itself. They're anti-tank magnets I tell you, and the fact that the DA player rolled 6's on both damage tables to make them both explode only adds to the insult. Anything with strength 8 or more drops them from the sky. Plus, all of his fire directed at my Dreadnoughts, Rhino, and Razorbacks was mostly ineffectual. Oh, the dice gods are fickle indeed. There were too many Deathwing squads to call any one of them special, so I'd have to award the Ravenwing bikes as MVPs for the DA player. The meta guns scared me and the squads attracted a lot of fire with little loss since they had a higher toughness. If they had managed to kill a few more things, I think they would have influenced Squad Brennen staying in my quadrant to help instead of charging off towards the enemy objective. I do want to point out that I asked at the onset of the game to increase the points by 500 for a total of 2500 so I wouldnt have to alter my list. The DA player actually borrowed 10 more terminators from me to add points.
Squads Brennen, Pyr, and Thunor are the MVPs for my side, eliminating the bulk of the Deathwing terminators, the devastators, and surviving round after round of fire without fleeing. The combination of a Brotherhood Champion and a Techmarine with all of those grenades makes for an awesome close-combat killing machine. All those Nemesis Force Weapons combined to kill a lot of Dark Angels. Plus, I was able to block the way to the objective by interposing Rhinos and Razorbacks between the Deathwing and my objective. I was a little miffed at the Librarian throughout the battle. His old-style psychic hood worked on the entire board and caused many of my special powers (Hammerhand, NFW activation, etc) to be nullified. I was surprised the Librarian didnt use any powers against me throughout the game, though, although the reinforced Aegis provided by my Dreadnoughts would have made that difficult. One improve I will have to remember is to use the Warp Quake special power to prevent the Deathwing from teleporting so close. All in all a great game on both sides.
The Dark Angels fought with a muted, intense fervor. Repeatedly Grand Master Galatine petitioned to the Dark Angels to stop this madness over the vox, but received no reply. This bloodshed was insanity. Were the Dark Angels succumbing to Chaos? Was the entire Chapter going to turn traitor like so many had in the past during the Horus Heresy? Galatine reached out with this psychic abilities and sensed no taint in his would-be brothers. What were they trying to hide? What secret could possibly push them this far to the extreme?
Galatine had to banish these thoughts for the time being as he charged around the shattered hulk of The Shield of Artemis. Ahead, he saw a squad of Deathwing terminators battling furiously with Brother Cullen's mighty Dreadnought bulk. One Deathwing already lay torn in two, blood steaming from tattered Terminator armor, evidence of Brother Cullen's prowess. As he watched, a figure among the Dark Angel squad, lit by a halo of energies, struck Brother Cullen on his left side. Lightning radiated from the impact and secondary explosions ripped Brother Cullen's arm away from his sarcophagus. With a bellow of frustration emitting from his external vox array, Brother Cullen swung his massive body in a feeble attempt to inflict further damage on his tormentors. It was obvious to the enraged Grand Master that Brother Cullen would not last much longer.
"Knight Pyr, status report," Galatine growled between gritted teeth as he ran towards the embattled figures ahead.
A breathless, scratchy voice answered him. "All but myself, Brother Hydor, and Brother Lykkon are combat ineffective, Lord. Moving to assist Brother Cullen. Do you wish me to deviate?"
"Negative, brother. Unleash the cleansing flame of your fury on these traitorous brethren of ours. No mercy."
Finally reaching the melee, Galatine singled out the Dark Angel Librarian who remained sheathed in lethal energies. As he approached, these energies dwindled until they winked out of existence, suppressed by Galatine's Aegis suit and practiced mind. Clearly the Librarian was unprepared for this and fumbled to bring his weapon up to defend himself. Roaring a curse at this betrayal, Galatine shouted "Why Dark Angel?! Why?" Buoyed by his rage, Galatine's Nemesis Force Sword sheared through the Librarian's staff and buried itself halfway in the Librarian's chest. Falling to one knee, the Librarian said through pained gasps: "The Fallen are...our burden...alone."
Galatine grimaced and activated his Nemesis Force Sword, watching as the life faded from the Librarian's eyes in a bright flash of azure light. Soon after, Galatine's vox chirped urgently.
"This is Galatine. Speak."
"Lord, this is Champion Caesus. Justicar Thunor has secured the necessary supplies to repair the ship as well as a suitable dock for the work. However, I have located something peculiar within the Dark Angel Tower of Redemption. It looks like a torture chamber, recently used but scoured of all traces of biology. Near the conclusion of the battle, a Dark Angel Thunderhawk escaped from the Tower, presumably with important cargo as they did not support their Marines on the battlefield. There must be a Dark Angel ship hiding in orbit somewhere that..."
"Unfortunately we cannot pursue," Galatine cut him off. "The Light of Redemption is in no state for a space engagement and we have a mission to get to in the Garus cluster. Organize the repairs with Brother Techmarine Gaius, Caesus, we must be underway soon. Galatine out." Grand Master Galatine looked up at the sky, his thoughts troubled. The Inquisition would hear of this strange mystery...and of the so-called Fallen.
There is only the Emperor...
Congratulations on the win, I really enjoyed reading this battle report. It's too bad about the Stormravens though, I can't really say anything about them; I'm a Deathwing player myself, so I've never used them before, and I've actually never faced one on the table before either.
Is this part of a campaign that you're playing, or do you just enjoy writing?
Glad you enjoyed the report. Yeah, the stormravens are a little flimsy, but I'll probably keep using them. This is one of the cooler lists I've come up with so far.
No, its not a part of any campaign at all, unfortunately. I do enjoy writing, though, lol. I've done two other battle reports on Librarium if you want to check them out. Thanks for posting.
There is only the Emperor...
That was a very impressively written battle report. If anything it would be easier if you could provide pictures. It takes much more effort to read that way. Otherwise, very well written. I enjoyed it.
What makes 40k fun is that sometimes, if we do it just right and lady luck smiles on us, rock will kick the **** out of paper. And thats the way it should be.
Thanks Zagman, I put a lot of effort in each of my battle reports, so I'm glad to hear they are well received. I understand about the photos, but I think there's an upload limit on this site to the size of the picture and my camera would def produce images over the limit. That, and I never seem to remember to bring my camera, or if I do, I forget to take pictures every turn in the heat of the moment, you know? But you're right, pictures would be better overall, explain things in a blink, and help me remember how each turn went exactly. Worth looking into. I'll try to remember next time Game well.
There is only the Emperor...
I use an 8mp camera and upload them to photo bucket. Use the IMG tag, your browser shoudl automatically display them at a smaller size without any effort on your part.
Keep the reports coming. You can take a look at mine, I did some quick abridged bat reps from ard boyz saturday.
What makes 40k fun is that sometimes, if we do it just right and lady luck smiles on us, rock will kick the **** out of paper. And thats the way it should be.